Houston Rockets 2012: Tales from the Stinkhole, Volume 2 ("At Least We're Not Charlotte")
It could be worse, Rocket Fan.
The plight of the Rocket fan has been well documented in this space. One playoff series win in the last 15 years. Both of the other Texas franchises winning NBA titles within the last five years. Three straight finishes in the highest spot outside of the playoffs (the proverbial "stinkhole"). No luck in the lottery. Yao Ming's feet.
It's all quite tragic, really.
The end result has been a city and a fan base that in the last year have veered into the bottom third in the league in attendance, bumping us dangerously close to franchises like the league-owned-until-recently New Orleans Hornets and the Charlotte Bobcats.
If there is an Axis of Apathy in the NBA, it lies somewhere along the straight line drawn between those two cities. They've been inextricably linked since New Orleans welcomed the Charlotte Hornets and then-
scumbag owner George Shinn in 2002, a transaction which eventually led to Charlotte being awarded the NBA's 30th franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats, and Shinn's divesting himself of the Hornets amidst financial turmoil in 2010, selling the franchise to the league for $300 million.
Battle of the Piney Woods: SFA vs. SHSU
TicketsSat., Oct. 1, 3:00pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. UTSA Roadrunners Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 6:00pm
Rice University Owls Football vs. Prairie View A&M University Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 22, 2:30pm
The connection between New Orleans and Charlotte was accentuated once again Wednesday night as they wound up with the first and second picks, respectively, in the NBA Draft. In an appropriate twist, the
behind the scenes directive from David Stern luck of the draw had New Orleans in a way figuratively "stealing" the first overall pick from Charlotte, as the Bobcats had a 24 percent chance of winning the lottery and the Hornets only about a 14 percent chance.
And that's all a shame for the Charlotte Bobcat fans, who had to endure the ignominy of rooting for the worst team in the history of the NBA (as measured by winning percentage and the prominence of Byron Mullens on their roster).
The good news is that the die-hard Bobcat fans didn't let a little thing like a shitty season rain on their lottery party parade. The bad news is there apparently are only about 40 people in Charlotte that give a rat's ass about their NBA team. From Wednesday night, I give you footage of the Bobcats lottery party, live from Time Warner Cable Arena:
At least I think it's a draft lottery party.
With as few people as there are in the building, there's a decent chance that the people in that video are just arena workers who decided to take a break while sweeping the floors so they could power up the JumboTron to see if the team was going to land Anthony Davis.
Sad. Pathetic. And probably a good thing for Anthony Davis that he is going far, far away from Charlotte, even if it does mean he's going to the second most dysfunctional organization in the league.
In the meantime, pray for all 40 of those Bobcat fans who now have to endure the pain of their owner Michael Jordan making an actual personnel decision. Two days ago they were on the cusp of a completely Jordan-proof scenario as the number one overall pick would have meant the no-brainer selection of Kentucky's Anthony Davis.
Now Jordan has to think, which can only hurt the ball club. Hard to believe that the guy who is in the lead chair for a team that won all of seven games last season and had a draft lottery "party" where you could have counted attendance by hand is the same guy who caused an arena to pop like this as a player:
So how does this all tie in to the Rockets? It's simple -- remember, Rocket Fan, it can always be worse. You could be in Charlotte.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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